null Itineario - Coto de Altamira
Coto de Altamira
Approximate duration: 35 minutes
1. The Stations of the Cross between churches.
A via crucis, or Stations of the Cross, situated on one of the site’s terraces, leads from the church in Taboexa up to the chapel. Some of the crosses, which mark the paved path, have been preserved intact and of others only remains are left. Alongside the chapel of St. Bartholomew and at the foot of the castro a cross which would probably have formed a part of a calvary, marking the final Station of the Cross, has been preserved.
2. A Ermida de San Bertomeu
(St. Bartholomew’s Chapel). A Baroque chapel, built in the third decade of the 13th century, with a rectangular floor plan and an impressive façade. Its structure is simple, with a door lintel under an arched pediment containing a scallop shell niche where the saint should be. Above this is a window and, on top of the window, a scallop shell crowning the façade. A belfry with a bell tower topped by pinnacles forms the highest part of the building. Flanking the main door are two carved figures representing ears of corn and pleading for a good harvest. A pilgrimage is held here every 24th August.
3. The Circular Huts
The earliest excavations carried out in the Coto de Altamira or Castro de Taboexa date back to the year 1929. Some of the structures that can be seen here were probably documented in those early campaigns, and correspond to three circular stone constructions, laid directly on top of the site’s granitic substrate. Their state of erosion makes it difficult to determine their purpose, but the existence of doors would lead us to believe that they were indeed dwellings.
On this occasion, a comb, loom weights, bronze lamps and fibulae were recovered. In 1953, Filgueira Valverde and Alfredo García Alén were in charge of the excavations, uncovering various coins and pieces, such as the heads of animal figures (cow, dog, pig), ceramics and an amphora with white ashes. However, the most important object of all those recovered was a 12-cm bronze figurine representing the Roman god Mercury, which is on display today in Pontevedra’s Museum.
4. The croa
Large Roman structures…? During all of the excavation campaigns carried out at this site, a large number of archaeological objects were documented, of which a figure of two robed individuals and an image of the Roman god Mercury stand out, although the exact spot of the findings is unknown. The existence of large, rectangular structures, such as the ones that are distinguishable on the croa, would have us believe that the pieces came from a workshop or temple located here.
On the croa, or acropolis, of the castro, on a rocky outcrop situated towards the south-west, a rock engraving possibly dating back to the Bronze Age can be found, on which a circle and a prolific combination of cups, or “coviñas”, appear. There are references to other engravings at the site, but the activities of a quarry in the 1950s more than likely contributed to their disappearance. The existence of engravings in the castro is not surprising, as nearby an important group of rock engravings also exists, among which a representation of a horse, unique in this part of Pontevedra, stands out.
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Petroglyphs of Monte Tetón ()
An ensemble of engravings grouped together in two main sites and which include an iconographic repertoire made up of cup marks, square patterns, animal and human figures and, above all, combinations of concentric circles.